The union and the government are to enter a second round of talks today at Acas. But many local fire brigades this week submitted draft budgets to local authorities that assume any settlement will involve a much lower rise.
The Lancashire Combined Fire Brigade’s budget includes a 16% pay rise spread over three years. It assumes a promised 4% in 2002 and 3.5% next year. Lancashire assumes its spending on firefighters’ pay will be £88,000 over budget this year, and next year will rise by £1.6m.
‘We looked at what (offer) has been put on the table, but we are very much estimating,’ said Lancashire fire and rescue service FD Keith Mattinson.
A Local Government Association spokesman confirmed the 16% offer ‘is no more’ but denied FDs could be forced to recast budgets. ‘We think the local authorities are right in their budget. We are expecting that what is coming out of talks is a pay rise between 11.3% and 16%,’ he said.
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